Food

Hundreds Of Coffee Shops Were Just Turned Into Replicas Of One Of The Most Famous Cafes Of All Time

by Jon Baum

October 6, 2016

Fans of “Gilmore Girls” can binge-watch the show on Netflix as they wait for the four-part “Year in the Life” renewal of the series, the first episode of which debuts next month.

In the meantime, they can visit Luke’s.

To honor the 16th anniversary of the show’s debut and promote the upcoming revival, some 200 coffee shops across the country on Wednesday were transformed into replicas of Luke’s Diner from the show.

Hundreds of fans—and/or coffee aficionados who were stunned to see a psychotically long line at their regular coffee shop—lined up to get a cup of joe at Comancy, which was transformed into the fictional “Luke’s” from the show. But instead of the fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, GOOD visited the very-real-but-where-fictional-stuff-sometimes-is-dreamed-up Studio City, California.

Mia: The town had a fake murder?

Lorelai Gilmore: Yes, because the town is too dull to have a real murder.

Those lucky enough to reach the store early were treated to free coffee, cups featuring quotes from the first seven seasons of the show and a quote from the upcoming episodes, and a Snapchat code for a “Gilmore Girls”-themed-filter. 

Those of us who arrived closer to the promotion’s end at noon were treated to a 45-minute wait (which actually was a bit shorter than what it had been earlier in the day), in uncomfortable heat (which actually was a bit hotter than it had been earlier in the day). Incidentally, Weather.com claimed it was 72 degrees Fahrenheit and that it felt like it was 72 degrees Fahrenheit as we stood there cooking the left sides of our faces. Weather.com is a liar.

We also were greeted by a “no more free coffee” sign. Printed in ALL CAPS.

Sookie St. James: Oh, that makes me so mad. And so sad. I'm smad.

The crowd consisted of mostly (but not exclusively) women, most (but not all) of whom were 30 and under. Some sported Stars Hollow, Luke’s, or “Gilmore Girls” t-shirts. Most angled for the shade on the north side of Ventura Blvd to escape the alleged 72-degree heat. I reiterate: weather.com lies.

Despite the heat and wait, people in line were generally happy and friendly... During the wait we encountered:

•A 40-something woman handing out coupons for her Etsy shop, which features “Gilmore Girls”-themed mugs

•A 50-something man concerned about whether those in line had a permit for said line. “The line permit is different from the parade permit.” It’s unclear whether he confronted the Etsy shop proprietor about the dangers of copyright infringement.

•Coupons for a free appetizer from the nearby California Pizza Kitchen. Sadly, the adjacent Wells Fargo branch wasn’t offering freebies. Too busy with Congressional hearings, perhaps.

At least it wasn’t raining.

Girl: Is it raining?

Paris Geller: No, its National Baptism Day. Tie your tubes, idiot.

Then came the question of the day:

“Do I need to apply for a new auto loan today?,” said the kid in front of me wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks hat.

OK, the heat clearly is getting to me at this point. When will we finally get inside?!

Lorelai: When the big hand hits the "S" and the little hand hits the "OON."

As we neared the entrance, there suddenly were “oh my god!” and “he’s coming!” and “I’m so excited” screams. I looked up to see some man with some woman walking toward the entrance to the café, the man smiling and saying “How are you guys doing?” as those in line scrambled to take pictures.

Now, to this point I had been able to hide the fact that I’ve probably watched a total of four episodes of “Gilmore Girls” in my entire life. I actually enjoyed the episodes – good writing, witty banter – but despite the incessant protestations of one of my best friends – a 6-foot-5, 300-ish pound married, father of two “Gilmore Girls” devotee – I never quite got into the show. So I didn’t want to blow my cover and ask who it was everyone was gawking at. Fortunately, another passerby – who was curious about the line but seemingly had no concern with its legality – asked what was going on. Apparently, it’s Michel!

Michel Gerard: People are particularly stupid today. I can't talk to any more of them.

Actually, Michel—also known as actor Yanic Truesdale, who appeared in every episode of the show-- was incredibly friendly, proceeding into the shop, taking pictures and chatting with any and all fans who asked, donning a Luke’s apron and taking a turn serving from behind the counter.

Fortunately, he only had to deal with drink orders.

Michel: I don't eat bagels. Bagels are like glue in your intestines and ensure that everything that enters your body will remain there until you die.

It clearly served as the highlight of the day for this group, turning the somewhat entertaining novelty of the jaunt into a fictional world into a vividly memorable experience. And Truesdale clearly was enjoying himself, stopping to take a selfie in front of the cardboard cutout of Luke—whose head seemed in danger of falling off.

An event organizer told GOOD that Aris Alvarado, who played Caesar on the show, had dropped in earlier in the day, and that Luke himself (played by Scott Patterson) showed up at the Beverly Hills location of Comoncy his diner.

Those of us in Studio City had to settle for a cardboard cutout of Luke which listed some of his many diner rules.

Luke Danes: Why can't you respect the rules of my diner?

Lorelai: I do respect the rules of your diner. It's that baseball cap I have issues with.

Nobody had issues with this pop-up version of Luke’s on Wednesday. Well, possible save for Comancy’s regulars who just wanted a cup of coffee—which actually makes them fit right in to the “Gilmore Girls” world.

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